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1 localhost commented Permalink

Is this the David Parnas who spoke out against the Strategic Defense Initiative?

2 localhost commented Permalink

Yes, it's the same guy. For anyone who's interested, Parnas' views on SDI are well-covered in chapters 26 and 27 of the (highly recommended) book Software Fundamentals: Collected Papers by David L. Parnas.Interestingly, he is no longer opposed to strategic missile defense, but his rationale is not what you might expect. Here is a quote from page 468 of the book mentioned above to explain:"The idea of missile defence is current again at the time of this writing (2000). To many people's surprise, I no longer oppose the effort. When I wrote the original papers, I was convinced that investing so much effort in something that could not succeed would keep the United States from investing in weapons that were more likely to succeed. In the long run, it would have weakened the United States. My opinion on the technical feasibility has not changed. The arguments I made are still valid. However, I no longer believe that weakening the Unites States is a bad thing. I am sure that this too will anger many people."

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